Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Introduction
As a model that dominates the each day coach market with their maximalist, rockered workhorses, Hoka’s racing sneakers depart lots to be desired. The Carbon X 3 had a really free higher with heel slippage whereas the unique Rocket X didn’t really feel like a brilliant shoe. Each racers didn’t provide as a lot pace help as different tremendous sneakers.
The issue is that their compression molded EVA foam works properly of their coaching sneakers however when utilized in a racing shoe, it lacks the vitality return and dynamism required in a aggressive racing shoe.
PEBA (polyether block amide) is likely one of the hottest midsole foams utilized in tremendous sneakers as a result of it’s gentle and it gives an unbelievable quantity of vitality return. It was first made in style by Nike’s Vaporfly however now it’s utilized by Saucony, Reebok, Skechers, Beneath Armour, and Mizuno. The Rocket X 2 is now additionally PEBA powered.
The brand new Rocket X 2 weighs 8.3 oz (235 g) for a males’s US 9 which is kind of a bit heavier than the Vaporfly 2 and the Metaspeed Sky+. It’s 0.9 oz (26 g) heavier than the primary Rocket X. The stack heights have been elevated from 30 mm/25 mm to 36 mm/31 mm.
When the Rocket X got here out again in 2020, it price solely $180. A carbon-plated racer which was the identical worth as a max-cushioned coach represented extraordinarily good worth. Now, only one model later, it prices $250, most likely the largest soar in worth ever within the historical past of trainers.
At $250, you anticipate it to compete with the quickest marathon racers available on the market. Spoiler: it does.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 First Impressions
Once I tried the Rocket X 2 on within the retailer, the toe field felt actually slender (like most Hokas) so I made a decision to go up a half measurement from my common measurement. Most runners who’re planning to run lengthy distances in it might want to go up a half measurement.
My first run was a exercise of 1 km intervals adopted by 200 m intervals. Inside the first 500 m of the nice and cozy up, I might really feel that the Rocket X 3 was one thing particular. It felt softer and far more bouncy than every other Hoka shoe I had tried.
The plate setup mixed with the brand new tremendous foam within the midsole made the shoe really feel extremely propulsive and snappy. Transitions felt very easy and the cushioning felt deep sufficient to deal with the total marathon distance.
It felt utterly completely different to the unique Rocket X and it jogged my memory extra of the Vaporfly Subsequent% 2 however with a wider midfoot part and a extra secure base.
The higher match was comfy however I did discover a little bit of a free heel so I needed to cease to tighten the laces as soon as.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Higher
The Rocket X 2 has an higher constructed from a plastic-like materials which feels much like VaporWeave of the Vaporfly Subsequent% 1. It’s easy, doesn’t stretch and doesn’t soak up liquid. I discover breathability to be average- the higher doesn’t have giant holes for the warmth to flee.
Its flat tongue is semi-gusseted and it doesn’t slide sideways however does slide downwards throughout runs. I discover that after I put on skinny socks, I can really feel the lacing stress on the highest of my toes if I tie it too tight as a result of the tongue is so skinny.
There’s no heel counter and there’s solely padding on the within of the heel counter on the perimeters, not the again, so the heel at all times feels prefer it’s free however there’s no heel slippage if I exploit a runner’s knot and tie it tight sufficient.
The Rocket X 2 has a slender match with a really slender toe field so go up a half measurement should you get pleasure from a bit extra toe splay room. I do really feel that almost all runners will discover a half measurement larger far more comfy than true to measurement. I don’t advocate it for broad footed runners as a result of it has a typical Hoka, slender match.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Sole Unit
So how briskly is the Rocket X 2 and can it compete with the quickest tremendous sneakers? The reply is a convincing sure. In my view, the Rocket X 2 presents simply as a lot pace help as the highest tier racers presently available on the market. The mix of the brand new foam and the redesigned carbon plate propel you ahead powerfully, like a springboard. The quicker you go, the extra propulsion you are feeling.
These runners who’ve been wishing that Hoka would change from old-fashioned EVA foam to one thing extra energetic won’t be upset with the ProFly X within the Rocket X 2. To me, it feels most much like Adidas’ Lightstrike Professional however softer and extra bouncy.
The carbon plate is stiff and has an aggressive placement within the midsole- it begins excessive within the heel after which dips down, near the bottom within the forefoot like an S-shape. I’m a bit upset that the entrance of it’s forked as a result of the Rocket X 2 might have been much more propulsive. Puma realised this and adjusted to a daily, non-forked plate design within the Deviate Nitro Elite 2; it feels a lot snappier than the primary model.
The Rocket X 2 doesn’t really feel as tall as different tremendous sneakers just like the Wave Riot Professional or the Alphafly Subsequent% 2. The rationale for that is that the froth compresses actually simply so whenever you’re placing the bottom, the midsole edges encompass your toes and you’re feeling such as you’re contained in the shoe, not on high of it- that is Hoka’s bucket seat function. This is the reason the Rocket X 2 feels far more secure to me than say the Vaporfly 2 or the Adios Professional 3.
It has a 5 mm drop which is identical because the Metaspeed Sky+ and is decrease than the typical tremendous shoe. 5 mm is the usual Hoka drop and I can’t say I discover greater than the next drop throughout runs. My calves/Achilles don’t get stiff after runs and I don’t really feel that I want the additional help to get from heel to toe-off whereas transitioning.
There’s a big cavity or void beneath the Rocket X 2, located underneath the rearfoot and midfoot. This can be a key think about dropping the load of the shoe and rising vitality return by permitting the plate and midsole foam to deform throughout footstrikes. New Stability additionally makes use of this of their SuperComp collection in addition to numerous different racers just like the Deviate Elite 2, Wave Riot Professional and Endorphin Elite.
My longest run within the Rocket X 2 was 40 kilometres at largely regular tempo with a piece at marathon tempo. It had sufficient cushioning for the total distance and it felt secure all through the run. That is positively a brilliant shoe that you should utilize for a full marathon even when your kind isn’t nice.
I examined the Rocket X 2 at a wide range of paces and it might deal with all of them. From straightforward tempo right down to 100 m tempo, the Rocket X 2 felt punchy and propulsive though I really feel that it’s greatest suited to marathon tempo attributable to how tender its trip is and its 8.3 oz (235 g) weight.
The Rocket X 2’s outsole is comparatively flat so transitions are actually easy. It has an excellent quantity of rubber protection and the uncovered midsole foam is sturdy so it doesn’t chip or scrape as simply as ZoomX foam. I didn’t have any issues with grip however I didn’t get an opportunity to check it on moist roads.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Conclusions
The Rocket X 2 is now deserving of its identify. It’s not even akin to the primary model as a result of it’s a lot quicker, softer, and simpler at pace help. It’s heavier than the Rocket X 1 and much more costly however at the very least Hoka has a correct tremendous shoe now. I believe $250 is a good worth for the Rocket X 2 whenever you have a look at rivals in the identical worth vary.
It’s not good although: I believe the higher of the Rocket X 2 will be improved. Its toe field is just too slender and there isn’t sufficient padding within the heel so it feels free. For some runners preferring feather gentle racers, the Rocket X 2 will even be too heavy.
I’d nevertheless race a full marathon within the Rocket X 2. It presents loads of pace help and it’s softer than the Endorphin Elite and Adios Professional 3. It’s additionally comparatively secure and decently sturdy for a racing shoe. I believe it’s a greater racing shoe than the NB SC Elite v3, the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ and the Alphafly Subsequent %2.
If you happen to get pleasure from a racer with a extremely tender trip, the Rocket X 2 can be the #1 decide as a result of it outperforms the SC Elite v3- its higher is so significantly better and the midsole geometry is extra aggressive.
The Rocket X 2 is my favourite Hoka working shoe so far. Being such a big and in style model, they’ve lastly invested in a midsole foam which may compete with the very best by way of vitality return and cushioning softness.
Profly X makes the Rocket X 2 extraordinarily enjoyable and exceedingly partaking to run in.
Now, Hoka simply wants an excellent plated coaching shoe. The upcoming Mach X might fill that function.